Did you know that more than 12 million single-family homes are currently being rented in the United States?
Single-family homes account for 35% of all rental housing in the U.S., and with historically high demands from consumers, that number is sure to rise. Despite their popularity with renters, SFR homes come with some unique challenges for property managers and owners, especially when repairs are needed.
PWSC is here to help. We have answers to the “Big Three”—the questions property managers and owners ask most when it comes to assessing the value of warranties for rental homes.
#1: What Is a Rental Home Warranty?
A systems and appliance home warranty reduces the cost of replacement and repair when home systems and appliances fail. These agreements protect critical systems like HVAC, plumbing and water heaters, plus standard appliance breakdowns including refrigerators and ovens. Unfortunately, these agreements often exclude rental homes or include processes that aren’t renter-friendly.
SFR homes come with those unique challenges we mentioned earlier, especially when it comes to system and appliance service and renter satisfaction. So, it makes sense that these homes should have a unique warranty plan to help meet those challenges. Here are a few of the features you should look for in a rental home warranty:
- Ensure the warranty has $0 deductible or service fees. Programs with no hidden costs help renters get the repairs they need without waiting for approval or for a payment to be made. This cost structure is also a financial win for property owners who will not get hit with those service call fees – even if it turns out no repair is needed when the vendor arrives.
- Confirm the warranty has broad coverage that won’t leave your renters with incomplete repairs or multiple maintenance visits. For example, should a repair require behind-the-wall access to the plumbing or electrical system, the drywall repair should also be included.
- Finally, a rental home warranty should come with a standard of service that meets or exceeds the level of customer care the renter is used to from the property management company. Warranties designed specifically for rental homes are usually administered by companies who are used to partnering with property managers and other large entities, and they are equipped to provide a higher standard of service than traditional home warranty providers.
#2: How Does a Rental Home Warranty Mitigate Risk?
Rental home warranties can help property managers and owners in a variety of ways. They help improve everything from operational efficiency to cost predictability and even customer satisfaction. But, one of the most valuable tasks a rental home warranty can do is mitigate risk.
Here are a few of the different risks property managers and owners can curb with a good rental home warranty program.
- Mitigate the risk of property claims with proactive maintenance. When items are covered under a warranty program, renters and property owners are both more likely to move forward with a proactive repair. This means those slow leaks can get taken care of before they turn into bigger problems, whether the property owner was budgeting for the repair or not!
- Mitigate the risk of habitability claims. These claims, whether legitimate or frivolous, have been on the rise for property managers in recent years. When the components that are included in the definition of habitability (HVAC, plumbing, water heaters, etc.) are also covered by a third-party warranty company, the renter has an extra resource to ensure the home stays habitable, and the owner has an extra layer of protection against those claims.
- Mitigate the risk of vendor-related claims. Sending a vendor into a rental home always comes with a risk. The vendor could get injured while working in the home and seek third-party damages, or the vendor could cause damage or injury to the resident. Either way, vendor relationships can get tricky, but a rental home warranty can replace many of those direct vendor relationships, effectively transferring that risk from the property manager or owner to the warranty provider.
#3: How Do I Get Started With a Rental Home Warranty?
Rental home warranties are not the same as traditional home. Researching options to find the right warranty for your properties is critical. Ask potential warranty partners these questions about their offering:
- Are there any service fees or deductibles?
- What does the warranty protect (and what’s excluded)?
- What is the process if a repair is not covered or only partially covered?
- What are the warranty provider’s obligations if one of their vendors causes a claim?
- Is the program structured to work efficiently for large property management companies?
When selecting your warranty partners, we hope you’ll consider PWSC.
PWSC offers the nation’s first warranty specifically designed for rental homes. PWSC’s HomePRO gives property owners, managers, and renters additional security against the headaches that come with system and appliance repairs. Our $0 deductible plan and trusted network of home experts allow us to offer fast, reliable, and professional service. To learn more, visit pwsc.com/property-managers or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org | 800.850.2799.